After dominating the Coast Valley League — winning league with a 10-0 finish — and after Coast Union High School polished off their first CIF Southern Section playoff foe 38-0 last week, they met their match in their second playoff game on Tuesday, May 21.
The Contenders from Faith Baptist in Canoga Park drove up in a school bus and defeated the Lady Broncos 7-3 on Coast Union’s home field. The Lady Broncos went out in front in the first inning thanks to a booming, two-run triple by shortstop Sage Radecki. Radecki came in on another base hit.
But that was all the scoring Coast could muster. Meanwhile the Contenders picked up one run in the third, four runs in the fifth inning and two more in the sixth to take a commanding lead that they wouldn’t give up.
Faith Baptist pitcher Kaley Limphaibule did a very effective job of keeping Coast’s hitters off balance and the defense for Faith Baptist did a superb job of fielding and throwing out runners.
Last season the Coast Union softball team lost their first playoff game, so this year’s post-season experience was one game better. Still, there is no doubt the players are disappointed after racking up a 15-5 overall record and going undefeated in the Coast Valley League.
Assistant coach Toby Cinque said after the game he was pleased with the way Ellie Magnuson pitched and the defense was “fairly solid.” But, Cinque was quick to add, “The main thing that kept us from advancing was our hitters who normally hit for us didn’t hit today.
“We needed more offense. A couple key hits would have helped us. Our bats were just a little flat.”
A positive for the Lady Broncos was Sage Radecki, Cinque explained. “Sage has been struggling at the plate most of the year but she came around today and had two solid hits for us. We couldn’t capitalize on her second hit, a double, with no outs.”
Asked if the pitching by the Contenders was what stymied the Lady Bronco hitting, Cinque said it was “nothing we couldn’t handle. We’ve seen pitching that good before. The only thing I can chalk it up to, it’s a young team.
“A third of our team hasn’t played in big games like that and it’s not easy to make those adjustments. We just need to be hungrier and more intense in those big games.”
Cinque gave credit to his defense and knows his team had a very successful season, but he said, “We just didn’t get it done today.”